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Old 01-24-2013, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Up North
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What is more beneficial in the short and long run: Government jobs or private sector jobs?


Will gov jobs still carry large pensions or will that be a thing of the past?
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:08 PM
 
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Down here in Texas, the state government jobs are decent but nothing to write home about. The pension is nice, and you can retire in your 50s receiving about half of what you normally make. However, the pay is generally quite a bit less than what a comparable job in the private sector would pay. A lot of agencies are cutting back, so job security isn't really a selling point anymore.

The Texas public workers' union is a complete joke and has no real power. It is more of a lobbying organization than anything. During the short time I worked for the State, I didn't know anyone in the office who was a member.

It's also relatively easy to get fired as a Texas state worker, believe it or not. I knew one guy was fired for attendance issues and another one for insubordination.

I'm not sure how it is in most other states. I've heard NY has a rock solid pension and a very powerful union.

Fed jobs are the best with the overinflated salaries and job security. It takes an act of Congress to fire a federal employee. However, a lot of federal agencies are having budget cuts as well.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:12 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
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I have had more years in public than private, and it really depends on the agency. I happen to have picked good ones that do not rely upon tax revenue to survive, so while there has been some belt-tightening no layoffs, raises every year, good pension, matching 401k and lots of vacation and sick leave. State, county and Federal government used to be the same but now with much less property tax revenue they are all suffering. Look at utility districts and port authorities, that get their revenue from commodity sales and rent. You will find that other than the CEO the pay is a little less than private industry but it's secure. Just don't look for a meter reader job, they will be gone within 5 years with the electric smart meters and AMR water meters that are read remotely without a human.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:08 PM
 
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I think for most people, public sector is better. In NY public workers get good pay/benefits and the public employee unions CSEA, PEF, NYSUT, and NYSCOPBA are extremely powerful. But the public sector basically guarantees you a lifetime of mediocrity. For some, private sector is better because you have the chance to do more good (or evil). Most will not, but in the private sector you have the chance.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juppiter View Post
I think for most people, public sector is better. In NY public workers get good pay/benefits and the public employee unions CSEA, PEF, NYSUT, and NYSCOPBA are extremely powerful. But the public sector basically guarantees you a lifetime of mediocrity. For some, private sector is better because you have the chance to do more good (or evil). Most will not, but in the private sector you have the chance.
Yep, a lifetime of dealing with useless, lazy, subpar coworkers and management that doesn't really manage but just follows an overly complicated protocol for everything. Nothing is done efficiently, most everyone is incompetent, and nobody really cares about what they are doing. It's just a depressing environment.

I felt like I was in prison during my short stint working for the State.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:33 PM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
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Careerwise, private sector is definitely better in the long run.
Public sector means you will get no paid training, no on the job skills training, and no significant connections to the industry.
In good economy times, private sector will receive raises in the 5-10% range with cost of living while public sector workers generally top out at 3% with no cost of living, maybe more if inflation is high enough. In bad economic times, privates sector workers might lose 1-5%, though even in the last recession they averaged 2%+ annual raises. Public sector wages are almost always frozen and kept frozen 1-2 years past recovery.

Basically a public sector worker exchanges a pension and a lifetime job for future career growth and the accompanying increase in salary. Jumping from private to public late in life is relatively easy (time it right and you can still get a significant pension. The reverse is virtually impossible. The particularly bad part is that the private sector is spending more and more on worker development and has become more competitive on salary, while public sector pensions and job security are eroding significantly.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:45 PM
 
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Public sector enjoys great job security and sometimes pensions. Work environment often stinks and pay often lower. If you are determined to work for the Feds, enlist in the armed services (also Federal employment) for the veteran's preference.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:08 PM
 
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I echo the points made previously, it's a trade-off. The big plus with (most) public sector employment is labor unions and public employment relations boards/personnel boards. The stuff you see all over this board about fired for wearing off white socks and hair parted the wrong way? that **** doesn't fly in public sector employment. If you fire someone it has to be LEGIT and there will be a hearing before a board and the agency must present evidence to show a preponderance (more likely than not) that the alleged misconduct or whatever it is they accused the employee of, actually occurred and the burden of proof is on the employer. The board can exercise discretion and lower a penalty from dismissal to suspension/salary reduction, a lot of times it is just dismissed due to the inability by the agency to show a preponderance of evidence which results in back pay with interest to the employee for the time they were out of work (huge waste of taxpayer funds but that's what state agency's do best). You won't find any of that going on in a private sector job and the way things are today, how much is that protection worth?
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Youthanasia View Post
The big plus with (most) public sector employment is labor unions and public employment relations boards/personnel boards. The stuff you see all over this board about fired for wearing off white socks and hair parted the wrong way? that **** doesn't fly in public sector employment.
It depends what state you are talking about. Down south, the unions have no power. That includes public workers' unions.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by statisticsnerd View Post
It depends what state you are talking about. Down south, the unions have no power. That includes public workers' unions.
True, that's why I said (most)... and I believe fed jobs pay less than state jobs, in Cali police officers make more than FBI/ATF/DEA and probably CIA agents because they are on those GS government salary step things but I guess you don't become a G-man for the pay.
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